Fabulous Festivals from Coast to Coast

Written By: James Priest

Cannabis and festivals are synonymous with each other for many people. This doesn’t mean that folks walk around festivals blazin’ (all the time). Cannabis has been illegal for decades and still is in most states. Even where cannabis is legal, public consumption of this plant can land you in a jam. Fines and even the possibly of jail time could be the result of your public display of affection for sweet Mary Jane. 

The cannabis community and culture are as diverse as the festivals they attend. From Renaissance and art festivals to music and religious festivals, to ones of advocacy and activism, these are places that those from the cannabis lifestyle are attracted to. 

Quite possibly the most popular festivals for those who partake of cannabis are music festivals. There have been many legendary examples, like Woodstock, Livestock, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Burning Man and others that attract cannabis consumers. These festivals celebrate sound and togetherness. They are places where memories are made, and ones that most likely will be revisited throughout history. It’s not just music fests that attract lovers of Mary Jane. Festivals celebrating art, culture, food and fun are alluring, too. 

The big downer is that many of these fests are not in states with legal access to cannabis. That doesn’t stop us (cannabis consumers) from having fun though! Thanks to the many methods for consuming cannabis discreetly these days, festival-goers who partake can do so and enjoy festivities without others, or the fuzz, harshening their buzz. Here are some blazin’ festivals happening from coast to coast this year (some in states with legal access to cannabis) that have nothing and everything to do with the plant so many of us love.

East Coast Festivals

  • Wild Goose Festival is held in Hot Springs, North Carolina. It draws an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 attendees. Wild Goose is a religious festival of sorts that celebrates “Art, music, and story-driven transformational experience grounded in faith-inspired social justice,” according to the event’s website. I know many people who go to this, and I wouldn’t have thought it to be my cup of tea until I heard about their awesome experiences. If you love people, good times, diversity and relaxing down by the river, you may want to check out the Wild Goose Festival this July 12th-15th, and see what the buzz is all about.
  • The 43d Spoleto Festival of Flags will be hosted in Charleston, South Carolina, from May 24th-June 9th this year. For 17 days, festival-goers can experience cultural diversity in dance and theater, chamber music, symphony, jazz, choral music, food, wine, street entertainment and more. According to the festival’s website, “Spoleto Festival USA is internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival.”
  • The Finger Lakes Wine Festival is the perfect event to sport your toga and toss back some wine, all in a civilized manner, of course. The Finger Lakes region is renowned for white wines, such as rieslings, as well as reds and other fine varieties. Over 70 local wineries will feature tastings at this year’s Finger Lake Wine Festival. If you plan on having only one glass, make it a big one!

Midwest Festivals

  • The World’s Largest Brat Festival is hosted in Madison, Wisconsin, outside of the Alliant Energy Center. This year’s event boasts free admission and four stages featuring energetic musical performances. There will be games for kids, carnival rides, a sports zone and, of course, lots of brats! To top it off, there will be a fireworks show to end it all on Sunday. 
  • Chocolate Fest in Burlington, Wisconsin, features a sweet battle of the chocolate chefs, chocolate-eating contests, the Project Yum-way candy-wrapper design contest, plus a carnival and crafts fair.
  • Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival is a great time each year in Madison, Wisconsin, October 5th through 7th. If you love herb, then you’ll love this festival featuring music, food, fun, games, activism, advocacy and more.
  • Flyover Music Festival is hosted at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, Kansas. Be careful with cannabis in Kansas as most law enforcement officers there have zero-tolerance toward the plant. The Flyover Music Fest features artists like “Cardi B, 21 Savage, Lil Baby, G Herbo of Chicago, Lil Mosey, YBN Cordae, Splurge, and Blaatina & Yusee, as well as K-pop star Tobi Lou,” according to the event’s website.

West Coast Festivals

  • Enchanted Forest Festival is hosted at Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville, California, and takes place each year in mid-June. This is a three-day music festival where attendees can partake of workshops, daily yoga and movement classes, and can check out the world’s largest gathering of independent performing artists. Did I mention that the trees are illuminated with magical lighting?
  • The BottleRock Festival Napa Valley, California, happens around the end of May each year. Some call it “The first taste of summer.” The festival runs for three days and features music, food, wine and craft beer.
  • The Craft Beer and Wine Fest in Esther Short Park, in Vancouver, Washington, is being held June 7-June 9th. Live music, local brews, craft artisans and more are waiting for you.     

If you plan to attend festivals like these, remember to stay hydrated and always elevated! Visit the festivals’ websites for information about times, dates, performers and other inquiries. Most importantly, be kind to others, and have fun.

Emerald contributor since July 2019

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